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Thursday’s 2B Softball: Titans Break Tradition in Win Over Adna; Napavine Upsets Ducks

Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Dakota Brooks (left) and Grace Hodel celebrate after completing an inning against Adna during a 2B District 4 softball tournament semifinal game at Fort Borst Park in Centralia on Thursday.

DISTRICTS: PWV Drops Pirates 14-2 to Qualify for State; Napavine Upsets Toutle Lake 3-2 in Semifinals

By Aaron VanTuyl

avantuyl@chronline.com

Thursday’s game was big for the Titans, beyond just the playoff implications.

Sure, it was a District 4 semifinal, with a spot in the State 2B tournament on the line.

Almost more importantly, though, the Pe Ell-Willapa Valley softball program had never beaten Adna in a postseason game.

“We were really nervous for this game,” PWV senior Dakota Brooks said. “Coming into this one, we were like, ‘We’re going to break tradition. We’re going to do this.’”

Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Grace Hodel swings at a pitch against Adna during a 2B District 4 softball tournament semifinal game at Fort Borst Park in Centralia on Thursday.

And?

“And we did it,” she added, once the dust had settled at Fort Borst Park after PWV’s 14-2 win. Brooks, the Titans’ senior ace and cleanup hitter, struck out five with two walks in the complete game effort, and launched a three-run homer to center field in the first inning.

That first inning set the tone and gave the Titans, and Brooks, plenty of breathing room; PWV scored eight runs on nine hits, sending 13 batters to the plate and facing two different Pirate pitchers. Leadoff hitter Katelynn McGough had two hits and two RBIs in the first inning alone, Sid Pollard and Grace Hodel each added RBI singles, and Britney Patrick knocked a triple.

The Titans scored in each inning, with a two-run single from Hodel in the third and a two-run double from Sid Pollard in the fourth. They finished with 16 hits in four offensive innings, with six players recording at least two hits. McGough and Kamryn Adkins were both 3 for 3, while Patrick was 2 for 3 with a double and a triple.

Adna got a two-run double from Skye Snow in the third inning, and a double from Lili Glover in the fourth, but couldn’t cut the deficit any closer than seven runs.

“I can’t say enough about that program. The last two years, they’ve destroyed us,” PWV coach Ken Olson said of the Pirates, who have played five of the last six district title games and won two of the last three. “We’ve kind of got a new group this year, and it’s proving to work.”

A big part of that is the Titans’ trio of freshmen in the starting lineup — McGough, Patrick and Katie Adkins — who bat in the 1, 5 and 2 holes, respectively.

“These freshmen came up, and they’re awesome,” Brooks said. “We were like, ‘We’ve heard a lot of talk, and you better back it up.’”

The trio has done more than that; all three hit over .500 in the regular season as the Titans went 18-0 in Central 2B League play. Now, at 20-1 on the season with the State 2B tournament starting next Friday, they’ll try to head east on a high note — even though the stressful part of districts is in the rearview.

“Having a chance to win a district championship, I think, is really valuable, but it kind of gets that monkey off your back,” Olson said of Thursday’s win. “You know you’re in. But if I was to go take a poll of these guys, they truly would want to win the district title. If we can get this one Saturday, that would be icing on the cake for the weekend.”

Note: Pe Ell-Willapa Valley will play Napavine for the District 4 2B Softball Tournament championship on Saturday at 5 p.m., back at Fort Borst Park. This year’s title game will be a rematch of the 2010 finals, which was the last time the championship game didn’t feature either Adna or Toutle Lake. … Adna (16-7) drops into the consolation bracket, and will play Ocosta at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation semifinals. The winner qualifies for state and will play in the third-place game, while the loser drops into a game for fifth place and the final District 4 berth to state.

 

Images from Napavine’s 3-2 win over Toutle Lake in a 2B District 4 softball tournament semifinal game at Fort Borst Park in Centralia on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Tigers Squeeze Past Ducks for State Bid

Napavine’s defense came up big when it mattered most.

Up 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning against defending state champion Toutle Lake, with two outs and a runner on first, the Tigers got a ground ball to third from Central 2B League MVP Britzy Hockett to record the final out.

Facing Hockett, of course, wasn’t the goal heading into the pivotal final inning, Napavine coach Chad Williams said.

“We didn’t want to turn the lineup over. We didn’t want to see Hockett again,” he said. “She’s killed us for the last three years.”

The Tigers had, however, spent Wednesday’s practice to defensive alignments and strategies for keeping the top third of the Ducks’ lineup off the bases.

“We’ve had decent success with moving the defense around when she’s up,” Williams said. “And really, that was the key, was keeping them off the bases, because they just run so well.”

Pitcher Abbi Music had a big hand in that, working all seven innings with eight strikeouts, three hits and just one walk.

“She was lights out. … Control’s huge for her. If she’s on, she’s on,” Williams said, adding that Music’s been on a tighter innings count this season to stay fresh for the playoffs. “It’s good to see her peaking at the right time.”

Toutle Lake led 2-1 after five innings, but a single from Music and then a two-run homer from Ada Williams put the Tigers ahead by what turned out to be the final 3-2 margin.

Toutle Lake pitcher Kelsey Lee faced just nine batters in the first three innings, and finished the complete-game effort with three strikeouts and a walk.

Napavine (16-6) had lost to the Ducks 6-2 and 14-5 during the regular season, but now returns to the District 4 championship game for the first time since 2010. The Tigers face Pe Ell-Willapa Valley on Saturday at 5 p.m., back at Fort Borst Park.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Williams said. “That’s what I’m going to tell the kids. Win or lose, we’re going to have a great night.”

Note: Check out the updated bracket here.

Morton-White Pass Keeps Season Alive

Onalaska and Morton-White Pass met once again in a loser-out District 4 softball game, with the Timberwolves avenging a loss from last year with a 10-6 win in Centralia Thursday.

Morton-White Pass stays alive in the playoffs and faces Toutle Lake on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a winner-to-state game. With a win, the Timberwolves play in the third-place game at 5 p.m., and with a loss, they’ll play in the loser-out fifth-place game at 3 p.m.

“That was a big win. We’ve been battling with Ony in loser-out games for the last four years. We got the first two, they got last year, then we just knocked them off,” MWP coach Rob Hazen said.

Hannah Smathers hit a grand slam and scored two runs, and Shaylee Peters was 2 for 4 with a homer and two runs for MWP. Chloe Goble had three runs and Molly Miller had two hits and scored a run.

“I thought we played well. I think we got beat by a better team today,” Onalaska coach Ken Ulery said. “We left a couple pitches up and they hit it out, but all in all, I’ve always asked my girls to have a team beat us and not beat ourselves and I don’t think we did that today. You’ve got to be able to be a competitor and understand teams beat you. It’s a tough league.”

Adalee Sabin was 2 for 4 with a run and Ashley Pannkuk was 3 for 4 with two runs for the Loggers.

The T-Wolves led 4-1 after an inning due to Smathers’ grand slam, but the Loggers battled and things were tied at 5-5 after three innings.

Onalaska scored a run in the top of the fifth to take the lead, but the Timberwolves answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs and added three in the sixth to win.

“You could see our youth showed a little bit at times,” Hazen said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, and that wasn’t our best game there. I thought Zoe McCoy pitched a dandy of a game.”

Onalaska ends the season 13-13 overall. It was the final game for seniors Kasey Hoyt, Anna Raymond and Dusty Glenn.

“This is a good group of girls. This is a tough league. We were probably right where we thought we’d be in league,” Ulery said. “We’re loaded with sophomores, with some quality juniors, and we’re going to be back. I think we’re ready to roll with this.”

Barnum, Ocosta End Toledo’s Season

Ocosta scored four runs in the first and second inning in a 13-2, five-innings over Toledo in a District 4 tournament game in Centralia Thursday.

Kyleigh Holmes and Lelani Cline each were 2 for 3 at the plate, and Holmes had four strikeouts in the circle.

Ocosta totaled 10 hits, with Kaylee Barnum hitting three home runs. Toledo had seven errors in the loss.

“I don’t think they were very ready, we kind of beat ourselves. We weren’t ready to hit,” Toledo coach Ashlee Gieseke said. “I think they had a great season. We came a long ways since the beginning for sure and we’ll be back next year.”

It was the final game for the prep careers of Cline and Maria Carpenter. Gieseke noted Cline had an outstanding season.

“I call her beast mode. She rips the ball,” Gieseke said.

Toledo finished the season 12-14 overall.
At Centralia

TITANS 14, PIRATES 2

Adna          002 00 — 2 5 1

Pe Ell-WV 813 2X — 14 16 1

Batteries: Adna — Jenikka Poppe, Skye Snow (1), Poppe (3) and Lili Glover; Pe Ell-Willapa Valley — Dakota Brooks and Grace Hodel
At Centralia

TIGERS 3, DUCKS 2

Napavine   000 012 0 — 3 4 2

Toutle Lk. 000 020 0 — 2 3 1

Batteries: Napavine — Abbi Music and Cortney Oster; Toutle Lake — Kelsey Lee and Katelynn Redmill
At Centralia

WILDCATS 13, INDIANS 2 (5 inn.)

Ocosta  440 32 — 13 10 2

Toledo 000 02 — 2 6 7

Batteries: Ocosta — Snider and Raffelson; Toledo — Kyleigh Holmes and Aryiana Murphy
At Centralia

TIMBERWOLVES 10, LOGGERS 6

Onalaska       131 010 0 — 6 10 6

Morton-WP 401 023 X — 10 6 2

Batteries: Onalaska — Dusty Glenn, Amy Henderson (1), Glenn (6) and Haylie Howard; Morton-White Pass — Zoe McCoy and Hannah Smathers

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